The NBA playoffs, King James version!

Welcome to LeBron's world Hawks!

Welcome to LeBron's world Hawks!

 

HAWKSVILLE - If the Hawks felt like there was some cosmic [Dwyane Wade-fueled] wave of energy trying to keep them from reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals, wait until they get on the floor Tuesday night in Cleveland.

That’s where they’ll get their first taste of the NBA playoffs, King James version.

In short, if they thought Wade was an issue – the so-called one-man team that they couldn’t get past in anything but seven games – wait until they face LeBron James and his crew.

Not only have the Cavaliers rolled to the best record in the league, boast the NBA Coach of the Year in Mike Brown and the league’s probably MVP in James, they’ve also had nine days to rest and load up for the Hawks on their way to what all of the basketball-loving world assumes is a table for two in the NBA Finals with Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers.

I can’t think of a better time to be the Hawks.

No one thinks you have a chance. No one is expecting you to be anything more than a speed bump on the Cav’s road to the NBA Finals.

“We’re the team that wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs right?” Hawks forward Josh Smith said. “If you let [the media] tell it, we didn’t even belong here. And we were supposed to lose to Miami. And here we are. We just keep showing up where we’re not supposed to be.”

The Cavs have lost twice on their home floor all season, so Tuesday night’s series opener should be interesting. The Hawks should still be in a groove and the Cavs have been off for so long … it should be interesting.

MIKE BIBBY’S BEST SHOT of the entire first round of the playoffs came before halftime of Sunday in Game 7 and it had nothing to do with his 3-point stroke.

Hawks coach Mike Woodson roasted him for passing the ball to Smith in the corner on in the final seconds. As Smith’s 24-footer bounced off the rim with 10.9 seconds left, Woodson jumped Bibby’s case for making the pass.

The surprise was Bibby’s response. He jumped Woodson right back, much to the delight of those of us sitting close enough to hear the entire exchange.

“If you don’t want me to throw to him put him somewhere else,” Bibby shouted. “He’s wide [@*&$%] open. Wide open. What do you want me to do? If you don’t want him shooting that then put him somewhere else. You tell him.”

After getting it back as good as he gave it, Woodson crossed his arms, did a pirouette and smiled at everyone watching as he strolled back toward the Hawks’ bench.

Woodson said later it was the first time Bibby’s “really lit into” him. And that’s why he was smiling about it. He loved seeing that kind of fire and emotion from his veteran point guard.

"NO! Let me tell you something coach!"

"NO! Wait a minute coach, let me tell you something!"

It was by far Bibby’s best shot of the night. And his reaction was right on the money in so many different ways. Because it’s clear that Smith has to curb his own enthusiasm for long distance shots (did you see him working in the paint early? The up and under moves, the ball-fake and step back and then lefty kiss off the glass. It was stick stuff. The Heat didn’t know what to do with him). And since he’s struggling in that department, it’s up to Woodson to find ways to help him curb it.

THE HEAT LEARNED A LESSON MANY TEAMS have this season about the Hawks when they play on their home floor. Forget what you thought about them away from Philips Arena, because for whatever reason, once they got on their own floor they’re a totally different team.

“They’re just terrific at home,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra Sunday after the Hawks had finished using his team as a dust mop. “They play with a great deal of confidence and energy here at home. We’ve struggled against them here in this building all year long, but it’s not just us. Everybody has struggled here as well. And it’s because they’ve built a pretty tough home court advantage.”

By Sunday night Spoelstra’s rage about the Hawks trying to embarrass his team a couple games ago had morphed into sincere praise.

“They’re a tough team,” he said of the Hawks. “They’ve really gotten a lot better. We’ve seen them mature over the years. They’re a team similar to us two or three years ago. They’ve developed their young guys, and more importantly they’ve kept the same coaching staff to help develop those players and have a consistent system.”

Wade might have summed it up best, though, after the game when he highlighted the difference between his team and the Hawks.

”They got more than one guy,” Wade said. ‘They’ve got four or five different guys they give the ball to and say, `Go make a play, either for yourself or somebody else.’ That makes it tough to guard.”

YOU WON’T SEE JOE JOHNSON BEATING HIS CHEST or poppin’ his jersey after big plays the way some other NBA stars do. It’s just not his style.

He drained two of the most wicked shots of the entire series Sunday, two 3-point bombs in Wade’s face, and didn’t do anything more than ball up his fists at himself. He glanced over at his family and friends that sit along the front row across from the Hawks’ bench, making sure they understood that whatever was ailing him early on in this series was no longer an issue.

 

Joe Johnson during a rare celebratory moment ... from another time. He barely cracked a smile in Sunday's stunning Game 7 show against the Heat.

Joe Johnson during a rare celebratory moment ... from another time. He barely cracked a smile in Sunday's Game 7 thumping of the Miami Heat.

The first smile he cracked was with five minutes left, when he headed to the bench to a rousing ovation from the crowd after his 27-point, five-steal explosion.

“I had to wait until it was late in the lock when I pretty much knew it was over,” he said of why he didn’t hop on a scorer’s table or call any attention to himself beyond his monster performance. “We’ve blown big leads before, so I had to make sure. If we win a championship you’ll see a whole lot [of emotion from me]. Other than that, it’s just competing, going out and having fun and trying to win ball games.”

And if you wondered if he felt any relief after finally playing like the All-Star folks around here have become accustomed to seeing, don’t.

“The only relief was that we won,” he said. “I’m putting this Miami series behind me and moving forward to Cleveland. And hopefully, we’ll make it an even better series.”

All THE TOP SEEDS IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE MADE IT TO THE FINAL FOUR. Boston and Orlando are set to scrap on one side of the bracket and the Hawks and Cavs are set to duke it out on the other side of the bracket. That’s actually the way it was supposed to work out.

They basically went wire to wire as the top four teams in the East, with some momentary shifting along the way. Dallas and Houston crashed the Final Four in the Western Conference. Houston won the 4-5 matchup with Portland while Dallas knocked off the depleted Spurs in the 3-6.

There’s something to be said for the Hawks making sure things held form in the East, though. It validates their 47-win season and legitimizes all the talking they’ve done the last six months about being one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Knock ‘em all you want, but they said they were headed to this point and here they are.

And they’ve yet to play their best. When you consider the injuries to both Al Horford and Marvin Williams and the fact that neither guy has played up to his own standard this postseason, the Hawks actually have quite a bit of room to improve upon their performance against the Heat.

And both Horford and Williams will return to action in this series. Williams could play a huge role, if healthy enough, defensively. Because the Hawks are going to need an active defender with the size, agility and athleticism to at least keep James occupied for long stretches.

Williams worked well against James during the regular season matchups (the Cavs took the season series 3-1 but the Hawks actually had one of those wins snatched from their grasp on a questionable late foul call) and again, if healthy enough, could potentially do similar work now.

Time will tell.

But admit it, you like talking Hawks this late in the season don’t you?

I know I do.

657 comments Add your comment

allan in texas

May 4th, 2009
10:19 am

Keep up the good work Sekou! Keep moving upward and beyond my beloved Atlanta Hawks! Peace.

SouthAfrican09

May 4th, 2009
10:21 am

Dan, Bibby has made 15 mill/yr the last few years. Surely his performance in 1/3 of the games this season does not merit that. While Bibby brings great leadership and 3 pt shooting, sorry if I’m not jumping out of my seat about a guy making 15 million to average 13 & 5 or whatever he makes. bibby should be making about 11 mill/yr, not more than Joe or Iguodala or even Smoove
………………….

This series is going to 7 games. Sekou, is Marvin’s wrist getting BETTER? We NEED him out there!

Josh Smith — STAY COMPOSED AND DO YOUR THING. STOP BEING IMMATURE EVERY OTHER GAME

Khao$

May 4th, 2009
10:23 am

Man, way to go Bibby!!!! That’s what I’ve been saying all along! Josh’s 3 point selection is a two edged sword. For one, Josh needs to drive. Two, Woody needs to stop drawing up plays where he’s parked outside there. They have to draw up more plays for him in the post. Still, I’m not a Woody fan by ANY stretch of the imagination. But he delivered on his promise. Sekou, keep up the good work, man. You’ve been on it ever since you stepped foot in the ATL and you’ve had to deal with some terrible basketball. I finally feel like we’re building towards something.

Heat Check

May 4th, 2009
10:31 am

Why did Woody wait until 418 games into his gig to start using offensive sets?

This series is a lot like the BOS matchup last year. No one’s expecting anything, so just don’t lose in 4 by a combined 200pts and we’ll probably have 5-6 nationally televised games next year. Movin’ on up!

RealSquawk

May 4th, 2009
10:32 am

Unfortunately most of the people I have been telling to respect Joe Johnson missed the game, but the one person who did was completely amazed surprised and scared.

Me I just pretty much expected every shot and saw them coming. happy to see Joe be Joe!

Now the Cavs! we could loose, but we could win the most important thing is taking this first game!

If Marvin can play them we have a pretty good chance to take this to seven.

Go Hawks.

SouthAfrican09

May 4th, 2009
10:32 am

I predict tomorrow night we’ll be up about 4 after 1 (rusty Cavs) and we get destroyed 97-70 in game 1. The series will start game 2 when we realize what we’re working against.

SouthAfrican09

May 4th, 2009
10:33 am

Does anyone know how much these sold-out playoff games help the ASG financially? I assume not much, but it would be interesting to know. Sekou, you sit close to Nique and Ratman during the games?

#21=Top50,1stBallot

May 4th, 2009
10:34 am

Somewhat of a tangent of Smoov being “placed” outside, but I hope Woody incorporates the lessons of this past series into his offense. Since Joe was largely a non-factor in two of the wins, the offense had to go through other people. “Iso-Joe” often results in the rest of the team standing around (re: Smoove near the 3pt line) as Joe tries to take it one-on-one (or two or three). His drive and kicks do two things: 1. often result in Smoov being the only guy willing to hoist from out of his range and 2. nobody is there for the rebound because the team has vacated the lane for the drive. Wade said it when we have to guard 4 or 5 guys this team is tougher to beat. Let’s make them guard 4 or 5 guys- there’s bound to be a mismatch somewhere.

RISE UP

Darrin "The Vent King"

May 4th, 2009
10:34 am

Wait a minute, Bibby snaps back at Milk Dud Dome and he loves it? He claims he loves that kind of fire, but when Josh Smith does it- he benches him and throws a tissy? I don’t understand that at all. I have NO problem with what Bibby said or did, but Woody’s response seems inconsistent with how he reacts to J-Smoove doing that which makes me believe even more now that its something personal between the two of them…maybe I missed something though. Either way- GO HAWKS!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 4th, 2009
10:37 am

I thought the ZaZa hustle plays and the 8 sec. turnover from Wade that was turned into points were both backbreakers. We will need Marvin big time this series. Bring your A game on the defensive side and he can flush that “bust” label forever.

Rod D.

May 4th, 2009
10:37 am

I’m gonna be @ all the games in the ATL. Cheering for King James and the cavs. But I’m proud of the hawks making the 2nd round, they’re finally coming along. All we need now is that dominant big man in the middle. Go Cavs! I mean Go Hawks???

dap01

May 4th, 2009
10:38 am

Thanks SEKOU: How is Hortford’s ankle? Will it improve before Tuesday? How’s Marvin? Will he play? Will he be 100%?

Volman

May 4th, 2009
10:41 am

Beautiful, Mr. Smith. I love it!

Bring on LeBron and the referees!

Volman

May 4th, 2009
10:46 am

Rod D, you’re the type of “fan” that we don’t want. Please don’t show up, because you aren’t wanted.

I assume you must live in Cleveland or are from there? That must be a lot of money to fly back and forth from Cleveland to Atlanta for all of those games.

That’s right….you probably just went to a friggin’ foot locker and bought a LeBron jersey and now you’re a “fan” of the Cavs. Talk about jumping on the bandwagon.

Volman

May 4th, 2009
10:48 am

SouthAfrican…are you a fan of the Hawks? All I see from you is complaining.

Anyway, Bibby got that big contract FROM THE KINGS, not the Hawks. It’s not like they Hawks elected to pay Bibby $15 million. He’s playing well…not $15 million worth, but that’s not the fault of the Hawks.

The ASG made about $2 million last year from the playoffs, so I’d guess that they make anywhere from $4-7 million this year on the playoffs. (That is, with 6-7 home games in two series)

EAST ATLANTA HAWKS FAN

May 4th, 2009
10:49 am

NOTICE WOODY DIDNT WANT MIKE BIBBY TO THROW JOSH SMITH THE BALL IN THE CORNER CAUSE HE KNEW JOSH SMITH WOULD DO SOMETHING STUPID,AND TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN IF WE DIDNT GET MIKE BIBBY FOR HIS 15 MILLION WE WOULD BE OUT THE PLAYOFFS WITH LETS SAY ACIE LAW RUNNING THE POINT GUARD OR HURT SPEEDY CLAXTON,YOU SOUND JUST LIKE ONE OF THOSE FAIR WEATHERED FANS,AND OYEAH I FORGOT YOU ARE FROM SOUTH AFRICA YOUR NAME SAYS IT ALL.

WITHOUT MIKE BIBBY AND HIS 15 MILLION AND MIKE WOODSON AND HIS SO-CALLED NO COACHING SKILLS,WE WOULD NOT BE MOVING ON TO CLEVELAND TO FACE LEBRON,WHY DO YOU THINK THEY THE OWNERS GOT RID OF BILLY KNIGHT INSTEAD OF MIKE WOODSON,THE PROOF IS THAT WE ARE MOVING TO THE 2ND ROUND.

Mike is back

May 4th, 2009
10:50 am

SEKOU, KEEP BRING IT BROOOOOOOOOOOO…I HAD TO USE MY PREVIOUS POST TWICE

Glad to hear Marvin will be back…we could use Acie too…what’s his status?

I WAS JUST PROUD TO BE IN PHILLIPS THE DAY THE COACHES, PLAYERS, AND FANS RESURRECTED THIS CITY BACK ON THE NATIONAL STAGE. WITH JOE HEATING UP…ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We can win all our games at home. We gotta steal one on the road…if we do that…then definitely…we have a chance to WIN THE SERIES. If I was Woody…I would ride ZAZA BOW BOA…THE REST OF WAY…GO ROCKY!!!!!!

GO HAWKS…LETS SHOCK THE WORLD AND STEAL GAME ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cdog

May 4th, 2009
10:55 am

hawks will kick the calvaliers tail in 6 games.defense is the key and the hawks playing with intensity.don’t listen to the media.james is no michael jordon

Woodson Bibby Exchange « Stotts Era

May 4th, 2009
10:59 am

[...] put my writing shoes on a write a series wrap and/orpreview for the Cavs games.  But for now, from Sekou’s blog over on AJC, comes this exchange between Woody and Bibby. MIKE BIBBY’S BEST SHOT of the entire first round of [...]

Edo River

May 4th, 2009
11:00 am

I just wonder what’s going through J-Chill’s mind right now….Particularly if we do a strong number against the Cavs.

EAST ATLANTA HAWKS FAN

May 4th, 2009
11:01 am

MIKE BIBBY 15 MILLION GOT US TO THE 8TH SEED LAST YEAR

MIKE BIBBY 15 MILLION GOT US TO THE 4TH SEED AND MOVING ON TO THE 2ND ROUND.
ANOTHER THING THE REASON WHY MIKE BIBBY CAN FIRE BACK AT THE COACH IS BECAUSE MIKE BIBBY IS A QUIET VET WHO DOES NOT FUSS AND FIGHT WITH THE COACH ON A NITE IN NITE OUT BASIS LIKE JOSH SMITH,JOSH SMITH IS THE NEW GENERATION LIKE MIKE VICK ADAM PACMAN JONES AND TERRELL OWENS THESE TYPE OF BLACKMEN FILL LIKE THEY CANNOT BE TOLD WHAT TO DO,OR IM THE MAN AND YOUR THE LAME COACH,IF JOSH SMITH WOULD SHUT-UP AND LET THE COACH COACH THEN HE WOULD BE BETTER OFF,IM TIRED OF THE THUG MENTALITY OF PHUCK EVERYBODY IM THE MAN.

FrenchyFries

May 4th, 2009
11:01 am

This could be a good series as long as the refs don’t phantom foul for James (more so than they did for Wade in Miami). Remember the NBA wants to market Kobe/Lebron, the Hawks just have to make sure that changes to Kobe/Joe Johnson (assuming Kobe even makes it)

MannyT

May 4th, 2009
11:02 am

For all the groaning in the arena when Josh jacks up those 3s…several of them happened just like Bibby called it. Josh is at the 3 pt line and someone passes him the ball with about 3 sec on the shot clock. While it would be nice if he drove the ball, he rarely makes quick offensive moves (aside from an alley oop.) I am not surprised that he shoots the 3 when the clock is running down.

Bibby is right and must have checked in with mykhalc! Woody needs to choose…change the offense so he is not standing at the 3 point line when the shot clock is about to expire or get Josh more practice shooting that 3.

I like the lack of confidence around the national media about the Hawks in this series. Nothing to do but play loose and do what you do. Almost like the Boston series last year, but with more experience.

I hope Marvin is healthy enough to contribute this series. We really need him to disrupt LeBron.

We iced the Heat, now let’s chill the Cavs.

As Billy Joel might say…we didn’t start the fire, but we put it out, without a doubt. (Miami version)

BWAF

Jo Bling

May 4th, 2009
11:04 am

Darrin “The Vent King” – The difference is that Bibby is a mature veteran player. Smith, on the other hand, hasn’t earned the right to talk back to the coach. And even in Bibby’s case it’s a one-time thing. Over and done with, let’s move on.

In Sekou’s last post he quoted a scout who very accurately noted the reason Smith so often finds himself standing all alone behind the three-point line – where he shoots a whopping 15 percent. Because that’s the way the defense wants it. As far as the defense is concerned, Josh can shoot threes all day long. Dear Josh, You are being baited. Please don’t fall for it.

/wishful thinking.

Astro Joe

May 4th, 2009
11:09 am

Darrin, may have to do with the frequency of those types of exchanges. That was supposedly Bibby’s FIRST push-back. Do you really think Charlotte was the first time Smith suggested an alternate plan to Woody?

By the way, any chance that Smith is sometimes positioned away from the basket to create open lanes? In theory, if he’s 20 feet from the rim, that should mean that the PF guarding him is 20 feet from the rim too? Funny how no one seems to complain about those plays when Horford or Zaza need to come out away from the basket.

Good to hear that Marvin may return. He is one of our top half-court offensive weapons and was missed in the first series. Let’s hope he is good for more than a few cameo appearances against LeBron.

Bleeding Wind&Gold

May 4th, 2009
11:13 am

Don’t be foolish, fair citizens of Atlanta, GA, the Hawks don’t stand a chance. After Lebron dissects your team with the provision of a surgeon and leave you for dead, the rest of our crew will finish you off your team’s dead carcass like a pack of hungry hyenas. That’s why we fought so hard for home court advantage, because if your guys so much as breath on Lebron, you’ll hear the ref’s whistle in anticipation of contact. You know it, I know it, so just stop with the hopeful post and give in to reality.

Marcus

May 4th, 2009
11:13 am

Sekou,
I know we are in the midst of the playoffs, but in round 1 but I do have a 2009 draft question facing the Hawks: Bibby clearly has justified his value, so it seems like we will be eating whatever market value is for his services on this next contract. Acie hasn’t gotten the PT, so going with him or a ‘09 draftee would seem to take the team a step backwards going into the 2009-2010 season after building up for 5 seasons to where we are now (2nd round of playoffs).
So then the question becomes:
1. What has the reg. season and playoffs shown us as a position (G,F, C) in need of improvement, either in talent and/or depth?
2. What do we do with Acie Law? Continue on based on potential (a la DE Jamal Anderson with the Falcons) or draft another PG-in-waiting this summer and cut ties w/ Acie?

mountain_jim

May 4th, 2009
11:18 am

Great blog Sekou. I was wondering what the details were of Bibby yelling back at coach. Lets hope all the Hawks channel that fire positively in the next round.

Will I Am

May 4th, 2009
11:23 am

great article. Hats of to the writer. he really kept my attention

K-Town Dawg

May 4th, 2009
11:27 am

Hey bleeding wind bag,
I guess we should just cancel the playoffs and hand the championship to the Cleveland LeBrons, huh?

The reality is the Hawks did beat the Cavs during the regular season, albeit only one game out of four, but I think the Hawks will put up a fight.

So why don’t we just play the games and see who wins, d-bag!

Cedric

May 4th, 2009
11:30 am

The cavs are in the same place that the hawks are in that both teams have never won anything, but the only difference is that that the cavs are expected to. I like where we are positioned. Lying in the weeds being overlooked. The reality is that both teams are capable of winning at home with the cavs being dominant and the hawks being really good. But can the hawks win on the road and will the hawks play with intensity from the jump. That will determine the outcome of this series. If the hawks can play with defensive intensity from the outset this will be a very interesting series. Man it feels good to be back here. I am 31 yrs old and been a fan since my time in the womb.

Volman

May 4th, 2009
11:31 am

Hey “Breeding douchebag”,

You are correct on ONE THING only, and that is that LeBron will get every whistle from the referees. On the ones that he doesn’t get (because he expects a call on every play) he will throw his hands up in disgust, or “check for blood” when he NEVER is bleeding.

I am 100% positive, however, that he will be flexing his muscles whenever he gets an and-1 and pose for the crowd and throw up his pixie dust before the game.

What a joke. He’s a talent, but he thinks he’s bigger than the game.

If the Hawks want to win, they literally have to beat the hell out of LeBron. It’s time to grow up and be more aggressive and rough. Make LeBron cry.

Cry, Lebron…cry.

bigdave

May 4th, 2009
11:37 am

Bob Rathbun and Mike Bibby were both on ESPN’s “First Take” this morning… Bob was amped im happy for him and us as fans, cause he truly loves the Hawks…

i tell you what… if Woody can make the adjustments during timeouts or end of quarters that he makes a game later after a loss… we will when this series… he shows me that ability. what baffles me, is when he goes away from it…

we play Cleveland well, they beat us handily in Cleveland cause they couldnt miss a shot. if we fight hard to contest shots, and not give them shooting confidence early that would be great. at times our defense against them looks so good they become stagnant and we force them into shot clock violations and forced shots. i remember this in the game they won by 1 pt. at Phillips.

its quite obvious that i am a Joe Johnson supporter, it was great to see him perform at a high level for us yesterday. i am interested in seeing how Cleveland defends him. in our season match-ups they have thrown the double team at him. yesterday, there were times that Spoelstra didnt double and left Wade or another defender to get burned 1on1… when he did Joe found a groove. beating the double teams with his crisp passes, and finding shots for himself.

cant wait for tomorrow night…

DOWN WITH THE QUEEN…!!!

bigdave

May 4th, 2009
11:40 am

1 more thing… our defense can win us the series… if we make an effort not to be beat by the 3 ball or uncontested jumpers. we are the only team in the league that they cant out run… they will not beat us in the running game, or with James blowing by our defense… too long and athletic..

we must defend the jump shooters…!!

RickNole

May 4th, 2009
11:44 am

Time to slay the king!!
I cant wait!!

doc

May 4th, 2009
11:49 am

yeah sekou, i like them a lot and will be there with noise makers on.

just the same cavs in five, stern will make sure everyone gets it right.

got to love what josh says in the locker room, pure warrior stuff, accountability placed firmly on their shoulders and no crying about anything that goes down ever.

do think that jj has gotten rid of the collar with the chain attached to a heavy ball.

grand season no matter what happens. premature to even begin to talk of what about next season. now is the time, urgency is the password. these guys need to remember there may never be another time for it, so make the best of it now.

yeah aj, it is about spacing the team and bibby doesnt have to constantly think about who is in a space before delivering it as it is almost reflexive to get it to the open jersey. didnt he say what we have been saying all year. if you dont want the guy there to shoot then put him somewhere else.
JOSH = MVP!

doc

May 4th, 2009
11:52 am

do you really want josh dribbling in congestion with the clock burning out? man he doesnt quite have the handles of say a d wade just yet.

braveshter

May 4th, 2009
12:00 pm

This Aint SOUTH AFRICA CLOWN, learn the game and how players are handled before u start criticizing. DAMN MORON. Bibby is the reason we are where we are. DAMN IDIOT.

Volman

May 4th, 2009
12:01 pm

I think Woody has no other option (in that offensive “set”) than to have Smoove floating out of the lane and to an “open spot” on the court. Normally with a good shooting power forward, those are some easy buckets (as long as he isn’t floating to the 3 point line). If you think about the Pistons in the past, who did they have out there to make a lot of those shots? Sheed…McDyess. Those two can shoot the ball well, and it worked for them.

Anyway, we saw what happened when Smoove got the ball late in the shot clock and tried to drive. He threw down a disgusting dunk, that was ruled after the shot clock expired. Folks, sometimes Josh is going to have to chuck up some jumpers at the end of the shot clock…he is not in position always to finish around the rim.

Cut him some slack. He is the glue that holds this team together.

Volman

May 4th, 2009
12:05 pm

Doc, I keep thinking about the comment you made a while back about Woody and whenever he is introduced he is “drawing up a play” on the whiteboard. HILARIOUS! I guess he’s drawing up that play where Smoove lines up for a corner three! I seriously look for him every game now to be “masterminding” some plays together during the player intros.

I wish they would work, though.

Ernest

May 4th, 2009
12:14 pm

Sekou, can you give us a status on Marvin? Will he be able to play meaningful minutes for the team. It will be tough for us to be competitive going 7 deep, especially given the height the Cavs have in the backcourt.

Along the same lines, how is Horford’s ankle doing?

Sekou Smith

May 4th, 2009
12:18 pm

Don’t know yet on Marvin. We’ll have to wait and see where he’s at after practice today. But from all indications, holding him out Sunday was designed to give him another day of rest in preparation for a return to something close to his regular minutes against Cleveland. Horford played 32 minutes Sunday and will start Tuesday night.

Hoops

May 4th, 2009
12:20 pm

The Hawks will play the Cavs better than most people, that are not Hawks Fans, think. If they can steal game 1 because of the Cavs long lay off, I can see the Hawks winning in 6. The Heat learned that the Hawks are really good at home!

darrell starks

May 4th, 2009
12:27 pm

WOODY WE CAN WIN THIS SERIES one of the plays you can run is when joe get the ball at the top of the key and they come double him who ever man come over and double him that person should cut to the top of the free throw he will be open evertime for and easy jump shot or drive to the lane for and layup.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Thinking Fan

May 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

1 GAME at a time and No Babies Allowed, MAN-UP & play ball HAWKS!

TJ

May 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

Stop calling him King James… he’s never won an NBA title, and he’s not even the best player in the NBA. Let’s see him lead a team to an NBA title before we call him royalty!

Go Gators

May 4th, 2009
12:32 pm

Great write-up Sekou, doubt we can beat the Cavs but looking forward to at least 4 more games.

darrell starks

May 4th, 2009
12:34 pm

Joe has to get the ball more in the post specialy if WEST OR MO guarding him.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ILL-logical

May 4th, 2009
12:43 pm

One of the best things to come out of the Hawks’ playoff run is that downtown’s hotels and restaurants have been helped tremendously in a time of real distress in Atlanta’s second leading economic generator.
And for the fans, both local and otherwise, they now have a range of dining and entertainment options before and after the games that didn’t exist as recently as last year.

Now all we have to do is build on this year’s momentum and construct a team that not only can compete for a championship but win one! Just as there are those who deride Atlanta in general and downtown in particular, there are those who are rating the Hawks as pretenders not contenders- let’s prove them wrong!

O'brien

May 4th, 2009
12:44 pm

I have been a big critic of Woody the whole season, but I must say that he did a good job yesterday.

I agree with Bibby. Woody needs to put Josh close to the basket.

Doc, even if Josh brings the PF out 20 feet, there is no one on our team that drives consistently (JJ drives sometimes, and Bibby is not much of a penetrator).

Bibby played well against Miami, and we will need him to play even better against Cleveland. Let’s face it, guarding Mario Chalmers is different from guarding Mo’ Williams. Bibby at least needs to hit the big shots.